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Will longears eat snails?


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#1 Betta132

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 08:04 PM

I have a few nerite snails in my 65g. Will longear sunfish eat them? Two are typical-shelled nerites, one is a horn nerite. I don't think a sunny could crush the shell, but I'm worried a smart one might turn a nerite over and suck it out of the shell.



#2 centrarchid

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 08:08 AM

They can learn to do so although that generally occurs when they are very hungry and they get lucky and find some partially processed snails to get them going down that path.  The ripping  or sucking snails out of shells I have not seen Longear do.  The Longear may vary on this depending on source.


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#3 Betta132

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 11:22 PM

Good to know. I'll leave the nerites in. I like them, I collect nerites to some extent. I'm also impressed by the fact that the ones I accidentally left in have just survived me dropping the temperature 18 degrees in about 5 minutes via a huge water change with COLD faucet water.

I don't think they'd have learned to do that around here, the river mostly just has pond snails and ramshorn snails. My tank has mostly MTS, which are tough, so I doubt they'll find a broken one and make the connection between snails and food.



#4 shaft6977

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 10:44 PM

I bought 20 pond snails for my longear tank a few months ago. My 2 big males ate all of them whole in less than 30 seconds. Just swallowed them down. And believe me, they are nowhere near underfed. Mine are pigs.

#5 centrarchid

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 11:08 PM

I bought 20 pond snails for my longear tank a few months ago. My 2 big males ate all of them whole in less than 30 seconds. Just swallowed them down. And believe me, they are nowhere near underfed. Mine are pigs.

Your longears did not come from the Tippecanoe did they?


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#6 shaft6977

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 07:28 AM

No, I ordered them from Brian Zimmerman.

#7 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 08:10 AM

But wait, that is northern Indiana and Brian is from Ohio. So let's ask him. Brian. Does any of your long ear stock come from the Tippecanoe?

Centrarchid, are those lingers known to be different? Tell us more
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#8 shaft6977

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Posted 28 February 2015 - 08:23 AM

The ones I ordered are the Missouri variety. So I'm assuming they don't have any ancestry in Indiana. Just out of curiosity, are the ones from the Tippecanoe known snail eaters? Or am I not understanding why you asked?

#9 centrarchid

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Posted 02 March 2015 - 02:08 PM

The Longear Sunfish I remember getting into while at Purdue looked sort of like Northern Longear to me although no red opercular tab.  This must be taken in the context that I am from southern Indiana.  I have also played around with proper Northern Longear from Illinois so have had experience with those as well.  The Tippecanoe River fish had exposure to a tremendous snail and mussel population so they might have a tendency to consume such.


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#10 butch

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Posted 03 March 2015 - 11:26 AM

I had a MTS populations in the northern longear sunfish aquarium.....had.

#11 shaft6977

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Posted 03 March 2015 - 05:03 PM

These longears of mine will literally eat anything. I've given them every kind of flake, pellet, and frozen under the sun and they've gobbled it all up like they were on the brink of starving to death. It's kind of nice, because they definitely are not hard to please.

#12 Betta132

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Posted 03 March 2015 - 06:08 PM

I'm in Central Texas, so I'm pretty sure I'm not dealing with northern longears.



#13 butch

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 01:35 PM

It doesn't matter what subspecies or species of sunfish, they all eat snails.

#14 smbass

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 11:21 AM

I would agree they all eat snails to an extent. Some like redear and pumpkinseed specifically seek them out but in an aquarium setting they all can. Those Missouri Longears originally came from Centrarchid and are now multiple generations captive bred fish. They at this point seem pretty domesticated and feed really well on what ever you want to feed them. This strain seems to be in the Missouri River basin and looks more like how I would define the strain as far South and West you can get in that basin. They are also in the Arkansas River basin and I am really hoping to collect some fresh breeders to diversify my probably very slim gene pool at this point at or on my way to or from the OK convention this year. Should be able to get some Arkansas River basin fish in NE OK.

My understanding is this strain with the red orange streak down the nape is considered to be the Great Plains Longear Lepomis megalotis breviceps. Centrarchid does this agree with your understanding of them? If someone made me choose my favorite fish this would be it. I am happy to have been able to share this strain with many others thanks to my original 6 or 7 fish from Centrarchid about 7-8 years ago now...

Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage


#15 centrarchid

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 11:59 AM

I would treat those from the lower Missouri drainage basin as distinct from similar looking fish from NE OK.  The orange stripe they have in common but fish otherwise may be very different. I am not all that familiar with the Great Plains Longear other than they represent a large part of what I see when looking for other species of interest.  The embayment form has been more interesting to me and that is currently beyond my time budget.


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#16 smbass

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 10:07 AM

We are probably steeling the thread now but I'm interested in what you find different between the MO River ones and the Arkansas River ones? Distribution wise the two basins and area where I think of them being are right up against each other in SW MO or NE OK. Also have you hunted down the original description of the "great plains longear" to see where the type specimens are from? I just would like to know if I am calling these the right thing.

I too am very interested in the diversity of Longears in general but exactly as you stated I'm not paid to do that and it would take an enormous amount of time to do it well. My focus has to be on distributions of Ohio fish and conservation concerns within Ohio. If there is still no all encompassing study of the geographic variation of longears when I retire, then maybe I'll take up that challenge then. At least 20 years away from that happening though.

Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage


#17 FirstChAoS

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 12:22 PM

It doesn't matter what subspecies or species of sunfish, they all eat snails.

 

It seems most native fish eat snails, the type and size of snail being the main factors on if it is eaten or not.



#18 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 12:25 PM

I think the question has been sufficiently addressed, so as far as I am concerned, chat away about longears.

The member formerly known as Skipjack


#19 centrarchid

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 02:17 PM

I would agree they all eat snails to an extent. Some like redear and pumpkinseed specifically seek them out but in an aquarium setting they all can. Those Missouri Longears originally came from Centrarchid and are now multiple generations captive bred fish. They at this point seem pretty domesticated and feed really well on what ever you want to feed them. This strain seems to be in the Missouri River basin and looks more like how I would define the strain as far South and West you can get in that basin. They are also in the Arkansas River basin and I am really hoping to collect some fresh breeders to diversify my probably very slim gene pool at this point at or on my way to or from the OK convention this year. Should be able to get some Arkansas River basin fish in NE OK.

My understanding is this strain with the red orange streak down the nape is considered to be the Great Plains Longear Lepomis megalotis breviceps. Centrarchid does this agree with your understanding of them? If someone made me choose my favorite fish this would be it. I am happy to have been able to share this strain with many others thanks to my original 6 or 7 fish from Centrarchid about 7-8 years ago now...

Type locality is Otter Creek, Arkansas for the Prairie Longear Lepomis megalotis breviceps.  It is easy to imagine stream capture events facilitating dispersal of the southern populations of Arkansas River system and the lower Missouri river systems.  Following existing route though Mississippi River seems less probable.  The orange stripe down the nape is consistent the longears of the lower Missouri River and at least some from the Arkansas River system.   I am hesitant about categorizing Longear Sunfish from the North Fork White River System for the same reasons I indicated nearly a decade ago.

 

I am partial to Warmouth and Redspotted for reasons related to behavior.  Frequent work with those as well as Bluegill, Redear and Green sunfishes has made some interesting observations possible that might also differentiate some of the other species as well without taking into account meristics or coloration.


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#20 smbass

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 02:38 PM

I would agree the longears from the White River I have seen are quite different.

Just so I am sure I have the correct area is this the Otter Creek that enters the Arkansas River from the south at Little Rock Arkansas? Is so then I guess that makes the fish in the Arkansas River for sure definite L. m. breviceps and these southwestern Ozarks Missouri River basin fish are very similar in appearance but not necessarily by definition that subspecies.

I also agree that is more likely that stream capture in the area where the basins come together is responsible for the longears in these two basins looking very similar and not the present day route through the Mississippi. There are other types of longears to the east making that route unlikely.

Brian J. Zimmerman

Gambier, Ohio - Kokosing River Drainage





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